Aug 2012 Meeting Minutes

August 2012 - Regular Meeting Minutes


 Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association

August 2012– Regular Meeting Minutes

8-3-12     7:00 p.m.

Minutes of the July meeting were approved.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Jamie Ellis from University of Florida, Dept. of Entomology & Nematology; Yearly Management.

(Dr. Ellis with 22 years of beekeeping experience, teaches Yearly Management, a 3 hour credit course.  A computer course that can be earned as a non-degree student.  Disadvantage:  high tuition).

Everybody's year is different especially in Florida, where Florida is very different from northern states.

Introduction:  The needs of a honey bee colony changes throughout the year.  Must understand the biology of bee, define goals as beekeeper, work and synchronize efforts.

Three main uses of honeybee colonies:  honey production, pollination, NUC/Split production.  

Hives must be honey producing:  strong and queen-right location: in honey producing area.  Must be provided with supers for honey storage.

Pollination:  hives must be strong and queen-right, must have good stores of honey or be fed depending on the crop; the colonies should have LOTS of brood.

Making NUCS & SPLITS:  NUCS - small 5 frames Starter hives.  They can be used to increase one's number of colonies or sold to make a profit.

Splitting - to increase your colonies (perform at the end of February).  Early Spring - population will grow rapidly:  supplemental feeding, pest control (nosema, tracheal mites, varroa mites, A & E foulbrood), and swarm control.  For example; you must know what flowers are going to bring yours bees out of winter.  You must learn your Flowers.

Supplemental Feeding - Sugar syrup - feed to hives to increase honey stores and encourages growth.  Usually fed in spring:  1:1 mixture of sugar.  Starving, encourage them to grow in early spring.  Can also use high fructose corn syrup.  When to feed?  Hoist the hive, and know your blooms.  What to feed?  2:1 thick, 1:1 thin.  How fed?   Three main types of hive feeders:  hive top feeders, entrance feeders (board man), and in-hive feeders (division board).

Supplemental Feeding - Pollen - Usually sold in solid patties and fed directly to the hives.  If used well, can lead to increase brood production.  When to feed?  When bee flight is restricted, weak colonies, pollen deficient honey flow, and when no pollen available because there is nothing else to get.  What to feed?  Pollen, bee-bread, and other products:  soy flour, yeast, vitamin, mineral, and amino acid supplements, ex:  Mega-Bee, Bee Pro, Feed-Bee.  Feeding pollen patties:  leave space between two supers so patties won't squeeze and kill bees.


Disease and Pest control:  as bee population increases after winter so do pest populations:  nosema, tracheal mites, varroa mites, etc.

Swarming and Swarm Control:  colonies will begin to swarm as the nectar flow approaches, "bees reproduce on the colony level and not on the organism level", preventing swarms keep your bees in your hives, swarm control is necessary if you want to maximize honey production, swarm will occur prior to the major nectar flow - this gives them 6 weeks to set up a new home - they will be strong, re-queen colonies yearly, super colonies as necessary, equalize colonies:  this maximizes honey production, it minimizes swarming, use capped brood.

Swarm control - begin on the 1st of March;  remove queen cells from colonies  every 7 - 9 days, make NUCS (or splits)  from existing colonies (controlled swarming), shake all of the bees from the frames, if you see eggs - cut them, if you do not see eggs - leave them.  Eggs standing straight-up...this means that queen was there recently, eggs not standing, queen might not have been there recently.

SWARM CONTROL:  Cutting Queen Cells.

Making SPLITS:  Splitting a colony is a controlled swarm.  It prevents colony from further swarming.

Queen Problems:  from early spring colonies tend to have escalating queen issues due to:  Swarming, Supercedure, Queen death, Bad brood pattern.  Honey production is affected by a) disease and pest control, b) queen.  (Honey flow lasts 6 weeks).

Re-queening colonies:  to re-queen colonies, you can:  allow the colonies to re-queen themselves, use a NUC to re-queen the hive. 

Moving bees:  strapping and netting, bottom screens, pallets.


Supers should be placed on colonies just prior to the start of the nectar flow.  Capped honey - 70% - 80%.


Honey production increases in late spring, must continue to control swarming, must continue to monitor for disease and pests, must remove empty supers (not enough supers - encourages swarming, too much supers - discourages honey production).


Supers should be removed when honey is 3/4 capped, (uncapped - not covered with wax, capped - covered with wax completely).


Nectar production completely stopped, this is known as dearth, water must be adequate, food stores should be monitored and colonies must be fed if necessary.  Place water in feeder bottle instead of syrup.  You cannot miss any days filling the bottle, if not they will search for another water source, KNOW YOUR FLOWERS: Spanish needle, Brazilian pepper, Splits - these must be performed during late summer.


Disease and pest control are crucial, feed colonies, do you have a major nectar flow?


Disease and pest must be under control, colonies should have 70 plus pounds of honey, hive activity decreases, hive "hoists" should be performed 3-4 weeks, prepare for winter, northern states especially, make plans for next season, place orders for queens, locate spring forage, build and repair equipment. 

Dr. Jamie Ellis e-mail:

Treasurer's report:  (Amount available at monthly meeting).

Old Business:


New Business:

Saturday August 18, 2012 - Pollinators' Day, a Potluck Picnic 4 pm - 8 pm, will be held at Sara White residence.  Address: 10828 158th Street, North, Jupiter 33478, home telephone (561) 745-0271.

Members need to think about electing Officers for 2013.

Additional Business: 

Jeremy Cruz, has been named New Inspector for South Florida.

Outreach Requests:

There have been no outreach requests at this time.

Guest Speakers:

September, Michael Szakacs will speak on Apitherapy

We are still looking for anyone who may be interested in speaking at a monthly meeting for the months of October, and November.  The month of December is our annual pot luck dinner.

Close of meeting:

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Minutes submitted by:  Alexandra V. Kaufman

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